Sasho's #20WinningMoments: 1998
Sept. 25, 2012
Feb. 4, 1998
Courtesy of the official signing day release:
Four members of the U-17 U.S. National Team, all of whom are Parade All-Americans and members of the U-20 U.S. National Team pool, have signed National Letters of Intent to play soccer at the University of Maryland as announced today. All four played for Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski while he served as an assistant coach with the U-17 team.
Maryland also received commitments from Erik Ozimek, a midfielder from Columbia, S.C., who graduated early from high school and is now enrolled at the University, and Tyler Pharr a defender from Dallas, Texas, and member of the Region III ODP Team. Nick Downing (Redmond, Wash.), Taylor Twellman (St. Louis, Mo.), Beckett Hollenbach (Havertown, Pa.) and Dan Califf (Orange County, Calif.) rank among the top players in the nation, and have helped label Maryland as having the "top recruiting class in the country", according to USA Today.
Downing, a midfielder/defender, is the 1998 Gatorade Player of the Year, and two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Washington. He captained the U-17 team and is also a member of the U-20 U.S. National Team pool.
Twellman, a 5-11 forward, was chosen as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Player of the Year, and is also a two-time Missouri Player of the Year. A Parade All-American, Twellman was the leading goal scorer for the U-17 team, scoring 14 goals in eight games, and scored two of his team's four goals in its three games.
Hollenbach, who also can play both defender and midfielder, is the Pennsylvania High School Player of the Year, and was one of only two players on the U-17 team to play in every game. He also earned Parade and NSCAA All-American honors.
Califf was the starting sweeper on the U-17 team, and earned Parade All-America honors.
"We are very excited about all four of these gentlemen. Each one is a tremendous athlete and all will be able to come in and help immediately. Maryland soccer fans will enjoy watching these kids play," Cirovski said.
NOTE: This memorable rookie class would go on to help Maryland reach its first College Cup under Cirovski in 1998. Twellman was tabbed an All-American following the season after scoring a team-best 15 goals. Califf and Twellman spent time with the U.S. national team following their time with the Terps.
To commemorate Sasho Cirovski's 20th season as head coach at Maryland, UMTerps.com is celebrating his decorated career with a series titled "20 Winning Moments". Have a moment you think deserves to be on the list? Tweet us at @MarylandMSoccer with the hashtag #20WinningMoments.